Karen Pita Loor

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

BS, magna cum laude, Barry University
JD, cum laude, Washington College of Law, American University

Areas of Interest
Criminal Law & Procedure, Immigration Law & Policy, Trial Advocacy

Karen Pita Loor comes to the Boston University School of Law Criminal Justice Clinic to continue the commitment she made as a young attorney to the zealous defense of individuals charged with crimes. Shortly after her graduation from law school, Professor Loor began her criminal defense career at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. In that agency’s trial division, she represented indigent juveniles and adults charged with offenses ranging from simple assault to murder and sexual assault.  In the agency’s appellate division, she drafted multiple briefs and argued successfully before the highest appellate court in the District of Columbia. As a result of being a native Spanish-speaker, Professor Loor has represented several immigrant clients, and she is thus particularly familiar and concerned with the challenges this vulnerable population faces in the criminal justice system.

Before joining the Boston University clinical faculty, Professor Loor taught and supervised the Immigrant Children’s Justice Clinic at Florida International University School of Law. Under her supervision, students represented unaccompanied immigrant children in state and federal proceedings. Most recently, Professor Loor led her students as they successfully vacated three criminal convictions which subjected that client to certain deportation.  The client is now a legal permanent resident who is able to attend school and obtain the mental health treatment he has long needed.  Being able to assist this client is his dependency, immigration and criminal proceedings was quite a rewarding experience for Professor Loor, and it exemplified the ideals of holistic representation she strongly espouses.

Professor Loor is excited to now work with Boston University law students to marry their newly-attained substantive knowledge of the law with real-life experiences and thus provide exceptional representation to people charged with crimes.

  1. Karen Pita Loor, "A Study on Immigrant Activism, Secure Communities, and Rawlsian Civil Disobedience," 100 Marquette Law Review 565 (2016).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline

8 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Criminal Law Clinical Program. Criminal Trial Practice II is for students in their second semester of the Program and who have been assigned to the Defender section. Students represent indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses in either the Boston Municipal Court or the Boston Juvenile Court. Students gain exposure to lawyering experiences such as investigation, interviewing, counseling and trial advocacy with a primary emphasis on the development of trial skills. Students spend the first part of the semester acting as defense counsel in misdemeanor cases of increasing complexity. Later in the semester, representation in felony cases is possible, as well as exposure to a number of other aspects of the criminal justice system. Students must be available to be in court two days a week, from Monday through Thursday. NOTE: The Criminal Clinical Program counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 898 A1 , Sep 8th to Dec 1st 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Fri 10:30 am 12:30 pm 8 Wendy KaplanDavid Rossman LAW
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 898 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 19th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 8 Karen Pita LoorDavid Rossman LAW
FALL 2018: LAW JD 898 A1 , Sep 7th to Nov 30th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Fri 10:30 am 12:30 pm 8 Wendy KaplanDavid Rossman
SPRG 2019: LAW JD 898 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 18th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 8 Karen Pita LoorWendy Kaplan

3 credits

Previously titled Immigrants & the Law. Recent census data informs us that there are approximately 40 million immigrants living in the United States. About 11 million of these immigrants are undocumented or otherwise in the country illegally. The rest of the country remains divided on their feelings regarding the immigrant population, with about half believing that immigrants "strengthen the country because of their hard work and talent, while 41% [believe them to be] a burden because they take jobs, health care and housing." (Information in this paragraph obtained from Most Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, but Citizenship is More Divisive (Pew Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.), Mar. 28, 2013.) This course will investigate the life of an immigrant in American society from a legal perspective. Students will learn how immigrants, both documented and undocumented, interact with various sections of the American system. The goal is to assess various ways in which an individual's immigration status affects access to important rights and benefits accorded to citizens and analyze the legal rationale for existing limitations. We will examine these issues through the use of law review articles, court cases, existing and proposed legislation, newspaper articles, empirical studies, and governmental and private organizational position papers. Topics may include an investigation of an immigrant's access and limitations in primary and secondary education, public benefits, the court system, employment, voting, as well as modes of immigration policing by both federal immigration authorities and state police. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 948 A1 , Sep 11th to Dec 4th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Karen Pita Loor LAW
FALL 2018: LAW JD 948 A1 , Sep 10th to Dec 3rd 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Karen Pita Loor
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